Tories could win hotly contested East End seat

AN ELECTION survey today shows the Tories could win a hotly contested seat in London s East End.

By Else Kvist

AN ELECTION survey today shows the Tories could win a hotly contested seat in London's East End.

The YouGov poll puts the Conservatives ahead of Labour among voters in the capital by 39 per cent to 35. Among the constituencies the Tories could gain is Poplar and Limehouse. A close run between Labour's farming minister Jim Fitzpatrick who will be defending the seat and his archrival Respect's George Galloway and the Tory's parliamentary candidate Tim Archer has long been expected.

Archer, currently a councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town, said: "This is excellent news for Tower Hamlets Conservatives. But we're not taking anything for granted. Every vote will count and I'll continue to work hard to win the trust and confidence of as many residents as possible."

Fitzpatrick said the result confirmed his expectations that it is going to be a "tough fight" between Labour and the Tories.

"That's why I've been working as hard as I can to defend my seat. I'm confident that I can win it but it won't be easy."

A spokesman for Galloway said the poll only gives a small sample of votes across London and Tower Hamlets.

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He also said it was based on the last election swing when Galloway was not standing in this constituency.

He claimed support for Fitzpatrick had collapsed following his objection to segregation at a Muslim wedding, an elected Mayor for Tower Hamlets and after his latest appearance this week on the Dispatches TV programme. Instead the spokesman claimed Galloway was picking up community support. But he added that Respect was "not complacent but optimistic."

The four-point lead across London puts the Tories on course to win up to a dozen seats in the capital even though they have lost the runaway lead needed to secure a big Commons majority.